Dan Cooley has buried his beloved wife of 40 years and all of his children. The responsibility of single-handedly raising Tim Pat, his only grandson, is the one thing strong enough to rescue him from loneliness and despair.
When Dan, a legendary boxing trainer, schools his eight-year-old grandson in 'the sweet science', he sees a natural athlete emerge, the possibility of an Olympic medal and the validation of a sport to which Dan has given his greatest gifts. When a cruel twist of fate intrudes on his plans, Dan is plunged into the blackest of depressions. Meanwhile, Eloy Garza, a has-been fighter battling his own demons in the shape of a morphine bottle, struggles to prevent his grandson, Chicky, from being taken in by the crime, drugs and corrupt trainers of San Antonio's boxing circuit. Without admitting that he once met Dan Cooley in the ring - in a fight that ended both men's careers and left them haunted by their shortcomings - Eloy sends Chicky in search of the gifted trainer and cut man, knowing that Chicky's only chance at greatness lies far beyond Eloy's meagre reach.
Set in towns where violence is the norm and success stories take on an almost mythic importance, Pound for Pound is an old-fashioned novel with a heart, peopled with unforgettable characters - bloody but unbowed - who ultimately find solace in one another.
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"Effortless authenticity of voice...Toole's best writing" (M John Harrison Guardian)
"Boxing has arguably inspired the finest literature of any sport, though few of its practitioners have made the leap from ring to writing. F.X. Toole is the exception... Toole is capable of powerful writing. His hardboiled-yet-sentimental tone has the smack of authenticity" (Ludovic Hunter-Tilney Financial Times)
"It's a cracking tale....his ear for argot is uncanny" (Kevin Mitchell Observer)
"Toole writes with such passion that one becomes as absorbed in his novel as much as the man himself was in boxing...It is a world that most of us will only ever read about, but with a guide like Toole, we come away knowing the truth of what seems to me to animate every word of his prose" (Alex Wade The Times)
"Visceral and vernacular...Toole's novel is the product of fight-game insider" (David Grylls Sunday Times)
From the author of the OScar-winning Million Dollar Baby comes a muscular, heartwrenching novel. A story of men down, but not out; of old men for whom life has been tough, and young men searching for greatness.
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Book Description Vintage, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099494248